Best Home Owner Insurance ? What Is The Best?

The best homeowner insurance is the insurance that best meets your needs. The insurance shopper that takes the time to understand the basic elements of home insurance will have much more confidence and sense of satisfaction when making an insurance purchase. The homeowner policy has been around for a long time and so most of us have a general concept on how the policy works. The more you know about the market value of your home and the approximate cost to rebuild it the better off you will be when shopping for the homeowner policy.

This kind of knowledge is the foundation for determining what kind of policy to purchase. The age of your home has a direct bearing on the market value. The older homes built in the 1900?s have much lower market values today because most of them have depreciated. The market value for an older Victorian style home may be $50,000 but the actual cost to rebuild that home may be $200,000. The older homes that depreciate in market value are insured with actual cash value policies. They are often called market value policies. These policies will reimburse you for the market value of your home when there is a total loss. The market value policy is the best homeowner policy for the older home that has depreciated.

The replacement cost policy is better designed for newer homes or homes under construction. The replacement cost of a home and the market value are almost the same. Replacement cost is applied to the dwelling and most often to the contents of the dwelling. Replacement cost will repair or replace any loss with like kind and quality of materials without depreciation.

The best homeowner insurance for you will be determined by the age and market value of your home. The discounts for older and newer homes are the same. The protective device discount for deadbolt locks, smoke detectors, and fire extinguisher apply to both types of policies. Fire and burglar alarm systems are additional discounts that could be applied to both older and newer homes. Check our recommended insurers for more details.

Take Time To Invest

There are many worthy ways to spend your time and energy. Our society is in desperate need of people who will care about people and things other than themselves. There are many ways that adults can help leave a positive legacy for the generations behind them. One of the best ways that we as adults can care for the world we live in is to invest in the young people all around us.

Some of you are probably thinking that you are parents and that isn’t that enough of a contribution to make to the next generation? Being a parent is one of the most obvious and perhaps best ways to invest in children, but it is not the only way. All adults, parents or not, have the ability and the responsibility to make life better for children and young people. I believe we have this incredible job to do, that we have the task of spending our lives on things that make life better for others.

Taking time to invest in others requires just that: time. You cannot get very far in any relationship without putting time into it. If you are parent, take the time to parent well. Take time to get into the lives and hearts and minds of your kids. Learn about the things they care about, listen to the things they are scared of or excited about. Take your kids to their favorite park or read a great book with them before bed each night. Time is one of the best ways you can invest into children. If you are not a parent, find ways to interact with children. Offer to take the kids of your friends or neighbors for an evening. Take time to play games, go for walks, eat dessert or read books with kids. Invest yourself into the future of our country.

Learning to invest in young people requires that you offer yourself. By offering yourself I mean you allow children to learn from your life. Share stories from your past, lessons you’ve learned, and things you’ve failed at. Young people love to learn how adults have done life. Invest into them by being open and honest about the way you’ve lived, the decisions you’ve made and the things you would do differently if you could start again. You might be amazed at how much kids respond to adults that are offering themselves.

Few things are as valuable as taking time and energy to invest into children and young people. Think about ways that you could share what you’ve learned about life with others.

Invest In Sports Memorabilia

Many people who are looking into investing their money have turned to the sports memorabilia industry. In the past this may have been looked down upon, but in today?s day and age this is a viable option for investing your money.

Sports memorabilia has shown a tendency to increase in value as the years go by. This is especially true for any piece that involves a player who is considered one of the best of all time. This is one thing that you will need to keep in mind when you are looking into what pieces to purchase. Try to pick out the new player in the league that is going to turn into the next great. By doing this you will be able to purchase an item for a relatively low price, and then watch it grow as the player comes into his or her own.

You may also want to invest in older sports memorabilia that has shown a tendency to increase in value over time. This is often one of the best ways to locate a good investment. This is due in part because you can see how much the value has increased over the past five years, and then make a good estimate at how much it will increase in value over the next five.

Finding sports memorabilia to invest in has never been easier. There are hundreds of resellers that are willing to supply you with what you are looking for. Just like anything else, you can shop around in order to get the best price possible. Make sure that you do some research on the company that you are purchasing your items from. It is very important to only purchase 100% authentic items. You can ensure this by only purchasing memorabilia that is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

If you love sports and are interested in investing, you may want to consider jumping into the sports memorabilia industry. It has proven to be an effective way to invest money, and has made many people a pretty penny over the years.

When you are investing in sports memorabilia make sure you do all of your homework. This includes everything from choosing which players have the best chance of making it big, to ensuring that everything you purchase is 100% authentic. Who knows, you may buy a piece today for hundreds, and sell it in five years for thousands!

Getting Started in Real Estate Foreclosure Investing

Deciding to Invest in Real Estate Foreclosure Investing

With the increase in Real Estate property appreciation rates across America, a prospective foreclosure buyer may want to fix up a property to improve its value to live in, to rent out or to resell. The strategy a buyer pursues will determine which foreclosure property to buy and the location.

For example with San Diego, California’s media home prices topping at $500K+, a couple might not be in a position to afford a home of their own in San Diego, California. Yet, might be able to purchase a foreclosure property in another area or state with lower housing prices but in a faster growing market or with better future appreciation growth potential; when the property increases it’s value in a few years time, sale of the property could provide the necessary capital to purchase in the San Diego area.

Locating Foreclosure Properties

Finding foreclosure properties can be done by visiting the local recorder’s office and making photocopies, since listings are added on a daily basis, this can be daunting.

Using the internet, a number of web sites allow searches by state, county, city, and zipcode. All the sites listed below offer listings for a fee. Take advantage of the free trial period offered to fully evaluate thier listings. The sites should offer the latest listings with daily/monthly updates.

Determining the Distressed Property Valuation

Once you have identified a foreclosure property of interest in an area you have researched, determining the value proposition will determine whether or not to continue. The determination will be influenced by your investment strategy, i.e., whether you wish to live in, to rent out or to resell are factors to consider as well as your investment time frame.

The first step in foreclosure property valuation is the obtain information regarding the area. A number of web sites offer free sales comparables or “comps”. This information greatly assists in determing the property value.

Securing Financing

Due to the quick window of opportunity a foreclosure presents, it is important for a potential buyer to be pre-qualified before engaging in Real Estate Foreclosure Investing.

Also, knowing the amount of monies available to the investor can be a guide to locating areas within the U.S. that are with the the investment range

Being pre-qualified allows the buyer to be in a financial position to purchase the foreclosure property. Pre-qualification provides an important edge in competitive markets. Once approved, financing in-hand makes negotiations easier.

Finding and working with Real Estate Agents

The single most important aspect of foreclosure investing involves finding and working with a Real Estate agent.

If a foreclosure property is being considered out of the area or state, then working with a local agent in that area -who can advise on the condition, knowledgable about the growth potential, advise on local conditions, is an important relationship to develop.

Since a majority of Real Estate agents focus on “traditional” real estate transactions, mentioning “foreclosures” might cause them to balk at potentially working with an prospective investor; Therefore, educating the agent on the opportunity of working with you is important.

?Buyer?s representatives? have the home buyer?s interests at heart, and are charged with finding the right property and negotiating the best price for their clients. Picking the right real estate agent will make a buyer?s life much easier. There are agents who specialize in the foreclosure market, with specific experience in REO properties.

Look for an agent with foreclosure transaction experience, as well as knowledge of local, regional and state laws. But it?s also important to consider the agent?s knowledge of the area; their ability to close a deal; and their access to other professionals (attorneys, lenders, mortgage and title professionals) to ensure that the buyer is in good hands.

Making an Offer

Once you have determined the property valuation, researched the area and appreciation growth potential, and established a relationship with a Real Estate agent making an offer amount somewhere below the market value is the final step.

If the property is bank owned (REO), you could prepare an offer similar to a typical purchase offer, contingent on a full inspection and title search.

Best Home Owners Insurance – What To Look For When You Want A Lower Rate

What is the best homeowners insurance for you? The answer is probably not that obvious to you because most of us have not taken the time to understand our homeowner?s insurance. We would much rather turn that responsibility over to the insurance professionals. There is nothing wrong with that approach but it still leaves you a little bit too uninvolved over a very important insurance purchase. People have a natural fear of the unknown. We like to steer clear of things that are unfamiliar to us. Our insurance is often one of those things that we would rather just avoid. That may come in part from the old days when insurance was purchased under pressure from the insurance agent. That method of sales has just about vanished in property and casualty insurance. People willingly contact agencies about policies and coverage. The agent is more like a consultant these days. The best homeowners insurance is usually purchased when we ourselves have a better understanding of our policy and how we want to be serviced. The insurance atmosphere is much more professional and there are more ways to purchase insurance. Purchasing online or by telephone is becoming as common as purchasing from the local agent.

The homeowner?s policy itself has a couple of integral features and benefits to consider. Buying replacement cost insurance verses actual cash value insurance is one of your most important decisions. Replacement cost homeowner?s policies settle any loss by replacing or repairing your dwelling and its contents with like kind and quality without depreciation. Actual cash value allows for depreciation and expects you to make up the difference as an out of pocket expense.

The most important cost savings decision that you will make is the size of the deductible. It makes sense to have as high a deductible as possible on your home policy because of the infrequency of claims.

The best homeowner?s insurance for you revolves around how you want to do business, whether to purchase replacement cost or actual cash value, and the size of your deductible. These three areas will lead you in the right direction.

Take the Guesswork Out of Asset Allocation

If the Enron and WorldCom scandals have taught investors anything, it is that betting your future solely on one company’s stock is a huge mistake.

In fact, talk to any financial adviser and the mantra these days is diversify, diversify, diversify. But to average investors, that’s not so simple. What exactly does that mean and how do they go about doing it?

Asset allocation means spreading out your money across different asset classes (such as stocks, bonds and cash) and within each asset class (not buying just one type of stock, bond or mutual fund). The idea is that when one asset class falls, another may rise, which cushions the portfolio.

“At minimum, a moderate investor would probably want to hold five asset classes: large-capitalization stocks, small-capitalization stocks, international stocks, bonds and cash,” said Roger Ibbotson, chairman and founder of the asset allocation firm Ibbotson Associates and finance professor at the Yale School of Management.

But diversification is not always easy or cheap. About 75 percent of mutual funds have minimum investment requirements of $1,000 or more, according to the Investment Company Institute. For a moderate investor, building a diversified portfolio can mean a large initial investment.

“A reasonable allocation might be 38 percent large-cap, 7 percent small-cap, 15 percent international, 30 percent bonds and 10 percent cash,” Ibbotson said. “But if the minimum investment is $1,000 per mutual fund, you would need more than $14,000 to invest in those proportions.”

But fear not, there may be a simple solution: a fund of funds. Commonly called lifecycle funds, lifestyle funds, target maturity funds or balanced funds, these investment products are whole diversified portfolios. Investors can select a fund of funds based on time horizon (when you’re going to retire) or how much risk you can tolerate.

With one purchase, investors can get access to a diversified portfolio designed by professional money managers such as Old Mutual, Pioneer Investments and AIG SunAmerica, who have partnered with Ibbotson Associates to help create these fund offerings. Funds of funds can be thought of as one-stop shopping for your investment dollars. – NU

Investors May Not Be as Diversified as They Think

When more than 1 million college graduates entered the work force last fall, they began the first of what could be seven job moves during a 40-year working career, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics1.

In fact, according to a recent study by Fidelity Investments, one-third of today’s new work force could be compiling a series of stand-alone retirement savings accounts, which may not be as diversified as they think2.

With each job change, millions are faced with the increasingly challenging task of managing their workplace retirement savings accounts.

“As American workers continue to change jobs, our survey tells us that approximately 32 million have left behind retirement accounts with past employers,” said Jeffrey R. Carney, president of Fidelity Personal Investments.

“Our research also shows that 41 percent of investors with multiple retirement accounts believe that maintaining separate accounts makes for a more diversified portfolio. While Americans are more savvy about investing, many have lost sight of what ‘diversification’ really means -; spreading out money over different types of investments such as stocks, bonds and cash to manage risk -; which can’t be assured simply by having multiple accounts.”

In reviewing the portfolios of nearly half a million investors over the past year, Fidelity found that many need to be reminded of three basic tenets for managing a diversified portfolio: Know what you own; know how much you’re paying; and know when it’s time to seek guidance.

Many investors who maintain multiple accounts don’t realize the makeup of their overall investments and may be heavily overweighted or underweighted in a specific type of investment sector or security.

Keeping accounts scattered not only creates additional paperwork, it can cost more when maintenance fees are assessed by multiple providers.

“Many investors are surprised to find that they are holding a variety of mutual funds with above-average expenses or paying more in fees by maintaining several smaller balance accounts,” Carney said.

Managing and monitoring multiple accounts through numerous statements and Web sites can add increased layers of complexity for investors. In fact, nearly a quarter of those with multiple accounts reported trouble keeping track of them.

Getting Started into Forex Trading

Forex, also known simply as the “FX,” is the commonly accepted abbreviation for the over-the-counter foreign exchange market. The forex market is the largest financial market on earth. Forex exists on a 24-hour-a-day global network that spans corporate, banking, and individual interests. There is no central trading floor. Currency is traded around the world and around the clock, with fluctuations responding to speculation on the latest news as it happens. The currency volume on forex is huge, with a daily turnover of in excess of $200 trillion. Most of the world’s forex trading is done via the internet.

The forex was traditionally a playground for the monolithic international banks and substantial corporations. Times have changed, however, and it’s now possible for the small investor to enter the speculative waters of currency trading. Forex trading has become a bit of a craze of late, especially since it is something available to anyone who owns a computer. And anyone who is willing to put in some training time can profit from forex trading. The forex market finds traders from all around the globe monitoring currency fluctuations, not unlike the way a day trader may monitor a stock’s fluctuation on the Dow Jones.

The lion’s share of forex trades involve the major currencies: the Australian Dollar, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Euro, Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, and US Dollar. In forex trading, a trader will pair two types of currency. Currencies are bought and sold simultaneously, for example the US Dollar and the British Pound. As it requires more of one currency to purchase another, that currency loses value. Not unlike stock trading, forex traders try to accumulate currency when it weakens in hopes of selling it when it goes up in value. Forex trading is not unlike the buy low, sell high approach found in stock trading.

The way a trader on the forex market exchange goes about acquiring currency is by giving a bid/ask quote, saying he is willing to buy, for example 1.6 marks per dollar and sell them at 1.625 per dollar. One must be a market trader to have access to this process. So most people who are forex trading on line buy the currency through a bank, where they’ll pay a commission, then have to figure the commission paid to the bank into the calculation of their spread, or profit margin, when they sell it.

Forex trading is not an easy path to riches. And some people have lost considerable money in miscalculating the market. With its increased popularity, on some days the forex market exchange can see more than one trillion dollars exchanged. Packages for teaching a new forex trader how to invest in the market can range in price.

Last but not least, trading successfully is no easy task. It is a process and could take years to achieve the desired results. There are a few things though every trader should take in consideration that could accelerate the process: having a trading system, using money management, education, being aware of psychological issues, discipline to follow your trading system and your trading plan, and others.

Best Homeowners Insurance Rates – How Can You Get Them?

Rating of Homeowners insurance depends on various factors. The most knowledgeable buyer usually finds the best home insurance rate. To get the best homeowners insurance rate, you should do a bit of research work. If you cannot time yourself for it you can of course seek professional help. This approach is timesaving but you have to be cautious about your advisor.

Here are some tips to get the best homeowners insurance rates.

1. First of all you should get the basic understanding about your home insurance rate and the different policies. You have to know who regulates the rate. It is the individuals of an insurance company who decide on the home insurance rates and these rates are regulated by the insurance department of the state. The state insurance department is the approving authority; it is only after their approval the rates can be passed on to the customers.

2. Before applying for homeowners insurance, you should shop around, so that you get the best homeowners insurance rates. To maximize your options you should make a search of your own. Enquire with your local bank, lenders and credit unions. Today, many banks have official websites; you can send your enquiry online. After completing your search, compare with those available in the advertisements. This will make it easier for you to get the best deal.

3. Some insurance companies provide more than one kind of insurance policy. For example, they will give you better rate if you buy auto policy along with home insurance. It also helps you get better home insurance rates.

4. Many insurance companies are associated with security companies like Brink?s or ADT, these companies offer you better rates if you install a home security system.

5. Not only better rates, you can even get discounts if you are ready to install motion sensors or video surveillance cameras in your home, provided by the associate companies of home insurance company.

While keeping these points in your mind, you can get the best homeowners insurance rates.

Take Control of Your Retirement Investing

Copyright 2006 Damon Clifford

Ah, remember the good old days? You would get up, go to work for 30 years, and then retire. The company funded your pension and you had enough in savings to cover you for the rest of your life. That was fine, because you would typically die 5 or 7 years after retirement. But that isn?t the case any more. Many people are living 20 or 30 years after their retirement, companies are no longer offering pensions, and many people are spending more money than they make.

Because of this, it is up to you to take control of your retirement and IRA funds.

The stock market has historically gone up. But when it?s going down, or even sideways are you expected just to ?take it?? Many would have you believe that yes; you just have to ?go with the flow?. Or they will tell you that it?s the ?entire? market, everyone is getting hammered. Just stick with it and everything will be fine (have they already forgotten what happened in 2000?).

Brokers will tell you that your mutual fund is safe or secure because it?s spread across many different companies and many different industries. With all things relative, it is true that it is “diverse”. So why does the market value go down in your mutual fund or perform lower than the market itself? They will tell you that the fund is diverse, but guess what…it?s only one asset, stocks!

It’s not okay to just accept it, you do have a choice.

Did you know that you can invest your IRA funds in other assets beside stocks, bonds, and mutual funds?

Investing in alternative assets can be a very beneficial strategy to compliment your retirement portfolio. Alternative assets include anything from real estate, oil and gas, tax liens, private notes, trust deeds, and many more. I?m not saying to sell all your stocks and mutual funds. Those are required as well to have a diverse portfolio and there are many good brokers and mutual funds out there. Some of them are truly worth their weight in gold and I would recommend them to my friends and family.

However, I talk to people everyday that are just fed up with the stock market and their broker. Just like anyone else, they hate losing money. I reassure them that the market has historically gone up, and it will again go up. I don?t know how, why, or where it will go up, but history has proven itself. Even though they know that the stock market will go up, they still want to look for alternative ways to making money outside the stock market and to keep their portfolio truly diversified.

So now is the time to take control of your future! Don?t let someone else dictate what you need, want, or should do.

The Self Direct IRA LLC is a tool that allows you to invest your IRA funds in these non-traditional assets. You can buy and sell real estate, energy, and tax liens in which all the profits will flow back into your IRA. Many people already do this, but not in the IRA. The IRA has tax favorable treatments which can be great in accumulating wealth.

The Self Directed IRA LLC is not for the passive investor, it is for the active investor that truly wants to take control of their IRA funds and their retirement. As we live longer lives, we will not be able to afford the drops in the stock market. As you get older, it becomes more and more important that your portfolio doesn?t decrease in value. Don?t rely on others to make sure you retire comfortably. Take control and truly diversify your retirement portfolio with non traditional assets for a more secure and rewarding retirement.

As always, do your research and keep your portfolio diversified.